One of my goals for this new year was to limit my yelling. I am a yeller, I don’t think I have anger management issues, I think mostly it is frustration management issues.
For this year, I have decided that each day as part of my journaling I will write the times that I yell, the reasoning behind it and if it was warranted or not. If it was not necessary to yell, than I will write ways on which it could be handled differently. Accountability is a key issue for me this year.
One of the most important reasons that I want to halt the yelling in my family is for my son. I have accepted the fact when my son was born that every parent screws up their child in some way or another. It is inevitable. But if you constantly look to yourself and try your best then the degree of screwed-upness may be limited.
Mothers yell out of anger, frustration or fear. Yelling is natural and necessary at certain points in teaching your child the ways of the world. We yell at our child to keep him out of danger; ‘don’t run onto the road’ or ‘don’t touch the hot stove’. We yell at our child out of frustration; ‘how many times do I have to tell you to pick up your socks and not leave them on the living room couch’ or ‘why did you hit your cousin, hitting is never acceptable’. We yell at our child out of anger; ‘you broke the glass because you were balancing it on your head, what did you think was going to happen’.
The trouble I have with yelling at my son is I feel like crap after, and I wonder what my yelling does to his self esteem and confidence.
My son is eleven. I told him that this was going to be my goal for the year and that I would be writing in my journal all the times that I yelled and why. I also told him that I needed his help. To help out his mom, he has to let me know when I am yelling at him when he thinks it’s unnecessary. I also said he has to be more aware of the things he does that cause me to yell at him.
Yesterday we had a discussion on yelling and I asked him how I was doing. His answer to me was very telling. He said that I was doing great (said with sincerity and not his usual sarcasm) but after he asked me how he was doing. That thoughtfulness was what made me think that my goal is helping him with his esteem. He is actually thinking about his actions and how they effect others.
By writing in my journal the times that I have yelled, I have been noting a pattern. Lately the yelling has centered around my son not respecting things, for example, he wrote on a computer mouse with a blue marker, a mouse that we only got 2 weeks prior. It was the lack of respect that angered me and I was frustrated that we have had this similar argument before. So writing it out I was able to see clearer and come up with solutions. The thing that was the light bulb moment for me was realizing that he is very respectful to people and just needs to carry that over to objects and that I needed to tell him that. So even though I yelled at him, we both got positive results from it, my realization him hearing that he does have good qualities, even if they are not pointed out immediately.